Management Success Tip #121: Bring Out the Best in Your Employees: Challenge Them How They Want to be Challenged!

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A happy employee is a fulfilled employee, one who feels satisfied that his or her talents are utilized to their fullest potential, as well as rewarded for such.

Now that’s good news for your business, because a happy employee is one who is motivated to high performance and productivity.

Yet a recent survey by Lee Hecht Harrison found that 62 percent of people say they often feel underutilized in their jobs. This is bad news for both employees and the companies they work for!

Help your employees find greater satisfaction, while improving your company stats, by tuning in to what will challenge your employees – according to them, which may not be the same things you think would bring out their best.

Laura Vanderkam suggests, for example that you:

Say yes a lot. If a team member proposes a project, chances are he or she is itching for a challenge. Figure out if there’s any way you can give the green light, even on a trial basis.

Push. Give people a little more authority with every project. Real responsibility — and the chance to fail or succeed — tends to bring out the hard worker in people.”

People work best and hardest at those projects they’ve had a hand in creating. A little “yes” and “push” goes a long way toward success for both them and your business.

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Management Success Tip #81: Don’t Let Your Workers Jump Ship: Let Them Know They Matter!

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Most of us spend more of our waking hours at work, or working, than at any other single activity. Often at more than all of our other activities put together. So the fact that New York’s Conference Board shows that over 50% of Americans today hate their jobs, is painful, to say the least.

A clear reflection of the fact is that according to the U.S. Labor Department, 2.1 million people resigned their jobs in February of 2012, the most in any month since the start of the Great Recession.

People aren’t quitting because they’re happy. People are quitting, overwhelmingly, because they don’t believe their managers are interested in their well-being.

You know that you don’t set out to make your employees unhappy! You set out to make your business successful, but in the process, often it’s your employees who get the short end of the stick.

It’s too easy to assume employees will work for their paychecks, and forget that workers need more than a fair wage.

Your employees need to know, directly and personally, that they matter, that they count, that they are important to you and to the business.

Genuine, specific positive feedback given on an immediate basis is priceless. Asking an employee what their personal career goals are, and doing the best you can to support those goals is invaluable. Catching your employee in the act of doing something right motivates better than all the rah-rah speeches in the world.

Be mindful of the deep-seated need we all have to be acknowledged and appreciated, and your employees will be motivated to do their very best for you.

Management Success Tip #34: High Praise Makes High Performers Shine Brighter!

Squeaky wheels tend to get our attention, be they cranky co-workers, whining customers or under-performing employees. We lavish our time and efforts on these individuals—necessarily so—but too often ignore our best performers in the process.

We assume that high performers are self-motivated and will keep on truckin’ with their usual brilliance, ‘cause that’s who they are. Uh-huh. Until your high performers get tired of being taken for granted and either slack off or jump ship.

Give your high performers their just rewards! Not just in terms of bonuses, but give them what matters: your praise and your attention. Let them know how much you value and appreciate not only their performance, but the standard of excellence it sets for others. Use their brilliance as a platform for improvement, theirs and yours: ask “How can I further support your good work?” or “What changes would you like to see in how we do things to make our company better?”

Your high performers are more than churner-outers of fine work. They are, when treated right, inspiration and motivation for the greater success of your business.